The future of Flying High

The future of Flying High

Listed Under: News

Message from Artistic Director and Manager, Carrie Bird

I really hope you are all well and the start of the new school and college term is going well too. It cannot be easy after being away from school or college for so long and everyone is now trying to catch up the four or so months missed in one way or another. It is a very busy time for us all and I hope it all goes smoothly for everyone.

This will be the last weekly newsletter and although we have missed the odd week more recently, I hope you have enjoyed receiving them each week since March. You can always unsubscribe at any time of course. We have had fun bringing you all our efforts to keep Flying High actively present during lockdown with our ‘Don’t Stop’ video, live Phoenix (Adult company) on Zoom at the Nottstopping Festival in May, our Young Company’s Wind/Rush Generation(s), Tash’s gig and our ‘What Flying High means to us’ video and discussion at the Upload Festival in June.

We have also completed a series of successful Summer courses on Zoom – thanks to everyone who supported us and took part - and had a brilliant online Edinburgh Festival Fringe throwback. We also raised £800 towards ensuring all those young people who wish to perform at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe next year (we hope) have a chance to go regardless of any financial constraints. It has been so good to see what we have accomplished during this difficult time.

We are still compiling our summer courses’ ‘best bits’ but wanted you to see some things – our sock puppet documentary of a family in lockdown and how they got on (a very wild family!!), Poppy’s dance created with Georgie based on evil fictional characters – Georgie called the dance ‘Rotten Girls’ for the eight girls involved. We also have a video of Jan (from Phoenix Adult Theatre Company) who was our Zoom Police – making sure we all got sorted on Zoom for our sessions. She has created this based on all the difficulties the group had at various times!

Watch some of our Summer Courses videos here!

The future of Flying High

Having accomplished all this over the last six difficult months, the future sadly does not look so rosy. A huge number of changes have taken place over the last few months where people have had to find resilience, positivity, focus and a sense of purpose in their lives. Some have lost family members and friends, others have struggled emotionally, physically and/or financially in so many ways and in reality, regrettably COVID-19 is likely to be around for some time yet. So many of us have had time to think and reassess our lives and what we want for ourselves and our families. With the support of the Flying High Board of Directors, I have had chance to rethink and reshape what Flying High might provide in the future and as changes have to be made, we will sadly lose members along the way.

At the moment, it is not financially viable nor safe for us to return to our face to face groups yet. Other Youth Theatres and Dance schools have managed due to them owning their buildings or not having to share a venue with others much. At Pond Hill Lane Community Centre there are restrictions on numbers in their halls and we have to pay for the space during the half hour cleaning and change overs, all of which unfortunately does not add up. We can no longer offer the variety of performing arts activities we have in the past and we will have to offer projects where some sessions will be on Zoom and others in the venue and I believe this may be the situation until at least the Spring of 2021. To date, we have had little response by way of booking forms and emails for sessions starting on Zoom next week but thank you to those of you who have responded. I have noted your preferences and will be in touch. Our closing date for all expressions of interest for this term and booking forms is Friday 11 September. Decisions will be made as to what we can offer and you will be notified on Saturday 12 September.

Please be assured that I know this is a difficult time for so many people but I have tutors who have been with us for a long time waiting to see if they still have any work at Flying High so if you, your daughter/son are willing to be a little more flexible with our mixed approach to workshops, we will get through this and see a brighter time, I am sure. On another note, I have started some new training alongside Flying High which I may not have done if it had not been for lockdown!

Please let me have your decisions by Friday 11 September and if you decide not to return, thank you for all your support over the years. We have achieved so much!